When I went off to college as a young lad, a mentor warned me, “Don’t check your brain at the door.”

Great advice.

College freshman can be awed by university professors. These cognoscenti create an atmosphere where it’s their show. To question them is to question Gospel Truth.

In reality, they don’t know everything, and that mentor’s advice helped me separate the wheat from the chaff in regard to what ideas I allowed to populate my brain.

Unfortunately, most people don’t apply this advice to their business, particularly in the realm of sales process.

Many in sales have this firmly-entrenched idea that feelings are to be avoided at all cost. To them, landing a deal is about competition and “beating” the person on the other end of the phone or negotiating table. A sale is something that is won, and the prospect needs to be overcome.

This creates an adversarial atmosphere. And it has been psychologically proven that intensifying the pressure on someone to act actually pushes them farther away.

The opposite is true. When we pull back, people are actually more willing to move toward us.

Here’s where this habit hurts financial service professionals in particular. If you are promoting yourself as a professional who actually cares about the clients you serve, this approach is out of alignment.

Instead, the focus should be on the prospect, their particular problems, and how you can provide a solution that offers them a favorable outcome.

To do this without coming off as pandering or insincere, it is imperative to actually listen and bring a strong emotional IQ to the conversation.

In his book Never Split the Difference, author and former FBI kidnapping negotiator Chris Voss calls this tactical empathy, or listening as a martial art.

In his words, “Emotions and emotional intelligence have to be central to effective negotiation, not things to be overcome.”

Clearly, “feeling” is a type of thinking and should be treated as an asset during the sales process.

If you have removed this from your presentation to prospects, you need a hard reset on your method.

When we talk to prospects, the focus is on them -their business, their struggles, their goals, and their questions. And we listen. And we empathize.

And it works.

Unfortunately, the sales training most people receive is more like a bulldozer than an empathizer. If you would like to learn the delicate balance between the subtleties of emotional IQ while still being assertive in order to influence prospects and move them to become clients, check out our free training today to learn our detailed sales process and how to rebuild your offering:

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